First and foremost, congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens on being Super Bowl champions! I suppose that it would be safe to say that 2012 would have to go down as one of the most successful seasons in the history of sports in the city of Baltimore, with the Ravens and of course the Baltimore Orioles going to the playoffs in such an impromptu manner. One of the many tweets I saw last night said something to the effect that the Ravens’ championship was much like the city of Baltimore itself in that the team was flawed but that scraped and fought until achieving their goal. Sound familiar, O’s fans?
I think it’s fair to say that about the current incarnations of both Baltimore teams. Most fans are quick to point out the Orioles’ faults, probably quicker than the team itself. Yet they don’t give up. Last season I felt like that aspect was almost mocked in a way by some members of the fan base in that we heard it so much and it turned into somewhat of a running joke. However where “not giving up” can lead you should be plainly obvious. The 2012 Orioles could have packed it in at various points in the season, but they didn’t. And they took their fans to the “promised land” of the postseason. The same is true of the 2012 Ravens, who lost three straight games at one point and appeared down and out. Only they believed in themselves, which is really all that was important. Now they’re Super Bowl champions.
That idea of not giving up is as “Baltimorean” as crabs of Natty Boh. Let us not forget that Baltimore Harbor came under seige from the Brittish in 1814. Francis Scott Key, who was probably what we would call a POW by contemporary standards, watched the battle at Ft. McHenry unfold from a Brittish warship that was anchored right about where the bridge which bears his name currently stands. It was one heck of a battle, and amid the red glare of the rockets and the bombs bursting in air, Key wondered how it could be possible that the United States still controlled Ft. McHenry. Yet by the dawn’s early light, Key was able to see off in the distance the proof through the night that America had won the battle of Baltimore…our flag was still there. The great city of Baltimore, on behalf of the United States of America, had fought to the end and not given up. This act of defiance forever marked America as the land of the free and the home of the brave.
All of that might sound a bit cliche` or corny, but consider it for a moment. The war of 1812 was a very bloody affair that saw mass casualties on both sides. This is not to say that those died in the war in any way “gave up,” however the Brittish probably had the upper hand until that moment. They had marched right through Washington DC, burning the White House, Capitol building, and many more, and many felt it was only a matter of time before the nation would once again be known as “the colonies.” However the defenders at Ft. McHenry and in the city of Baltimore shined when America needed them the most by never gaving up on the great experiment that we now know as America.
Therefore the mantle of never giving up is something that’s deeply ingrained into the spirit of the city of Baltimore. Many people around the country love to mock the accent, the crime rate the provincial nature, etc. But there’s a deep-seeded sentiment in the city and among it’s people that says we fight until the end…and then some! The Orioles and Ravens had that type of mentality in 2012, and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue into 2013. Granted what the likes of Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Joe Flacco, and Ray Lewis accomplished in 2012 pales in comparison to the defenders of Ft. McHenry in 1814, it’s still the same sentiment. DON’T. GIVE UP. EVER.